By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Everyone was pulling for Tommy Johnson Jr. and Jack Beckman to win on Sunday. On Tuesday, their super sponsor Terry Chandler died following a valiant fight with cancer — and gave millions of dollars to keep these two teams on the track, while also supporting two worth-while causes.
Johnson Jr. advanced to the final round in his Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T. However, his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps, the reigning Funny Car champion and the pilot of the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T, would not lay down, so to speak, to give Johnson Jr. the Wally.
Capps went 4.026 at 319.67 mph at the 20th annual Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. Johnson Jr. went 4.047 at 319.90 mph.
“This has been a season that I could not even dream about, coming off a championship and having that four-win streak over in the season, it’s been incredible,” Capps said. “This is not an easy place to drive since it demands a lot out of you, but my team did a great job of making adjustments.”
Capps has been in the final round in three of the last five races. He has won three of those races at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Park Topeka, the NHRAThunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway and this race.
This is Capps 55th career win with his fifth this season. He was 16-11 against Johnson Jr. in the prior rounds.
However, Johnson Jr. held a 2-1 advantage over Capps in the final round.
Capps got the hole shot win. Johnson attempted to make up ground early, before Capps pulled away.
This is Capps fifth win from the ninth qualifying position. If you count the others, the ninth qualifier has only won 24 times.
With this win, Capps now has a career-high six wins in a season. He previously had five wins in a season.
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